Smooth ride for new bridge users
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Prpearatory work is under way for the new crossing in the Forth.
Picture: Jim Payne
A CONTINUOUS road surface will mean a smooth drive for motorists crossing the new Forth Bridge.
The road will lack the hundred-plus deck joints that create the annoying 'thud-thud' noise on the current road bridge.
An update meeting by Transport Scotland last week also revealed that the weather will play a crucial part in deciding whether the bridge is constructed in time for its planned opening in 2016.
Project manager David Climie told the Press that 2012 was the "year of foundations".
He said, "(The road surface) will be continuous. There will be just two 'bumps' on the road rather than the hundreds that are on the Forth Road Bridge.
"Next year we'll begin to see things coming out of the water. There will be a year-and-a-half of deck construction and that's when it will begin to look like a bridge.
"We are very much on target for opening in 2016."
There are 13 bridge foundation bases, including three huge caissons, being put in place into the water bed.
The delivery of the first caisson from Poland, which are as high as a six-storey tower block, will take place in May or June and represents the first milestone in the building of the bridge.
The decking is being manufactured in Spain and China.
Carlo Germani, FCBC project director, said, "It will take us the whole year to get all the foundations in place.
"There's a whole lot of softer material to be removed (from the river bed) to get into the harder rock.
"This is the most critical operation. Conditions are important.
"If we get them right, the job is well on its way."
Wind will be a huge factor in determining if the project is delivered on time as it could affect crane-based operations on the Forth.
Water near the coast at both sides of the bridge will have to be dredged as it is too shallow for the water-based operations.
Web cameras will be focused on the bridge to monitor its entire construction.
It means people from across the world will be able to watch it being built on the internet.
Once completed, time-lapse photography footage will be speeded-up so that four years of continuous building work can be watched in under one minute.
January - tower foundation works commence.
Summer - completion of Fife ITS (intelligent transport system).
Autumn - contact and Education Centre opens in South Queensferry.
December - completion of M9 Junction 1a.
December - tower construction complete.
December - deck erection complete.
Bridge complete and open by end of year.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 24, 08:35
Mar 24, 12:38
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Mar 25, 13:41
Did I mention of immigrants did I mention imported labour,no i didn't so maybe it is you who should go and join something like a reading group. I did mention Spain,China and Poland manufacturing not building.The bit you got right Capitalism it wins everytime.
Recommend? Yes 6 No 3
Mar 25, 18:54
Any other country in Europe would insist that the Bridge was built by British resources, however under EU law we have to let Johnny Foreigner the chance to come in and do it cheaper, however is it really cheaper, think of the tax which could be raised if it was built using local contractors. If our local MP had any balls he would be shouting from the roof tops about one of the countries biggest ever infrastucture projects letting all the work going abroad.
Come on Thomas get them told and stick the Euro rule book in the bin.
Recommend? Yes 7 No 3
Mar 26, 13:37
Apr 11, 21:08
Kirkcaldy to Leith would be about two to three times the distance? Hmmm that sounds cheaper? It also wouldnt solve the fundamental issue of the existing bridges condition.
Drew - The bridge is a Design build contract, the risk is with the Contractor. Hence the large consortium (including Scottish Contractors) who are constructing the bridge -to spread the financial risk. In a competitive market- price wins. The carriers are being assembled in Rosyth - do you think it was because they were the cheapest?
Surely we should be asking - why is it cheaper to build abroard? Do we have the manufacturing facilities to compete?
Is it due to the heavily unionised former steel industries? I Dont Know.
However, I dont think we have the facilllities to build on this scale. Hence Spain & China.
As for trams - Commerce needs fast public transport - not a bus service that stops every 100m. It takes around 45mins to an hour to get into Edinburgh from the P&R at the airport - whilst its 20mins in the car. Time is money in business.
The car is not sustainable for a city like Edinburgh. I, for one, cant wait for the trams.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 3